“I’m bored of revising for university exams. Third year is melting my brain. I want a nice little getaway, not too far from home, not too long. I know, let’s go to Bali Indonesia for three weeks just before penultimate university deadlines.”
Absolutely wicked idea.
I guess you could say, this wasn’t the wisest, but possibly one of the best decisions I have ever made. With big dreams, and flat mate Alex in tow, we set off on the three day journey to the Indonesian island we had heard so much about, with mental images of sea swings at sunset, sipping coconuts on a beach with surfers cruising past and the promise of diving with sea turtles.
Despite the ever growing touristic feel and onslaught of Westerners visiting the island, there is something beautiful and ‘clean’ that remains. Some would argue that it’s the spectacular views ; the wide spanned sunsets, dramatic changes in landscape, the beaches or surrounding reefs. But when you visit Bali, and get to really explore it, you begin to realise that the thing that impacts you the most are the people and the traditions and culture that they are so eager to uphold. We visited dances, temples, the oldest traditional village on the island, we saw tradesmen at work crafting simple things like stone and wood into the most intricate cultural designs. We ate alongside locals at street markets and ‘Warungs’, were lucky enough to experience a national festival at the Mother Temple and watched in on an English school lessons and what struck us the most was how welcoming and friendly the locals were. That despite Western cultures taking over a lot of countries in Asia, the people are so proud and uphold their traditions, beliefs and religion.
We tried to escape the touristic places and major cities, venturing to the North, to Lovina Beach and Labuhan Lalang for diving between the coast of Bali and Java and along the Eastern and North West coast, stopping at small villages and beachside towns along the way. Locals people would constantly say things like ‘beautiful beautiful green Bali, so clean and green’, and when you get away from the main suburban cities like Denpasar, you really can see why they are so eager to show off their island and can truly appreciate what Bali has to offer.